GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game

1  of  4

Lesson 1: Pitching

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

Whether you’re a long hitter or a short hitter, you need to be able to pitch the ball with accuracy to shoot good scores. Controlling distance is the goal, and that comes from picking the right club and using the right technique. In this video, David Leadbetter demonstrates his pitching keys. They’re sure to help you stick it close with your wedges.

SWING THOUGHTS

On long pitches, take a slightly open stance and center the ball
When pitching, favor your front foot, and set your hands forward
To control pitches, rotate your body back and through the same amount
On short pitches, take a narrow stance, and center the ball
Keep your weight on your front side for pitch shots
For short pitches, grip down on the club for extra control
In pitching, vary distance by changing clubs and adjusting your setup
Lesson 2: Bunker Play
2 Lesson 2: Bunker Play
  • The basics of confident bunker play
  • Taking the right amount of sand every time
  • One misconception every golfer believes
  • The adjustment that helps with any tough lie

The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game

2  of  4

Lesson 2: Bunker Play

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

The best players in the world make bunker shots look so simple, but for weekend golfers, the sand can be a terrifying place. Your priority should be to just get the ball on the green—and that’s a lot easier than you probably think. Here, David Leadbetter shares his best bunker lessons.

SWING THOUGHTS

On greenside bunker shots, open the clubface before you take your grip
Open your stance in the sand, and swing along your stance line
In the bunkers, give the sand a good thump through impact
The sand you splash from a greenside bunker should go left of the target
From the sand, control distance with swing length or club selection
For difficult lies in the sand, set more weight on your front foot
Lesson 3: Chipping
3 Lesson 3: Chipping
  • A step-by-step routine for consistent strikes
  • The importance of visualization
  • Why two favorite clubs are better than one
  • A grip to help eliminate flipping your wrists

The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game

3  of  4

Lesson 3: Chipping

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

There’s nothing worse than getting up near the green in two shots, and then wasting the next two with bad chipping. These little shots seem simple, but they do require a clear focus. As David Leadbetter explains, the trick is visualizing the shot, and then committing to the club and swing.

SWING THOUGHTS

Have a favorite club for long chips, and another for short ones
On chip shots, try using a reverse-overlap (putting) grip
When chipping, keep your grip pressure light for better rhythm
Take a narrow stance when you chip, and close it slightly
In chipping, favor your front foot to set up a downward blow
On chip shots, lean the shaft toward the target at address and impact
Keep your chest turning through to avoid flipping your hands
Lesson 4: Putting
4 Lesson 4: Putting
  • Getting comfortable over your putts
  • Rethinking how you move the putter
  • Use bigger muscles for better feel
  • How to develop a repeatable stroke

The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game

4  of  4

Lesson 4: Putting

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS

OVERVIEW

If you want to score well, you have to putt well. Being a good putter is part science, part art—and part luck. In this video, David Leadbetter shows you his essentials for getting more putts to drop, including his secret move for creating a reliable, repeatable stroke.

SWING THOUGHTS

Find a putter that matches your setup, not the other way around
A comfortable putting setup helps your stroke flow naturally
Power the putting stroke with your core, not your hands and arms
In putting, keep your arms close to your chest and your grip relaxed
Control distance in putting by how much you rotate your core
Hold your putting finish to promote a stable face and good pace

The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game

Lesson
1 / 4
Lesson 1: Pitching
2 / 4
Lesson 2: Bunker Play
3 / 4
Lesson 3: Chipping
4 / 4
Lesson 4: Putting
The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game INDEX
Lesson 1: Pitching
1/4
Lesson 1: Pitching
  • Mastering the art of distance control
  • Three setup keys you have to get right
  • Better pitching with a single swing thought
  • Why rhythm equals consistency
  • Mastering the art of distance control
  • Three setup keys you have to get right
  • Better pitching with a single swing thought
  • Why rhythm equals consistency
Lesson 2: Bunker Play
2/4
Lesson 2: Bunker Play
  • The basics of confident bunker play
  • Taking the right amount of sand every time
  • One misconception every golfer believes
  • The adjustment that helps with any tough lie
  • The basics of confident bunker play
  • Taking the right amount of sand every time
  • One misconception every golfer believes
  • The adjustment that helps with any tough lie
Lesson 3: Chipping
3/4
Lesson 3: Chipping
  • A step-by-step routine for consistent strikes
  • The importance of visualization
  • Why two favorite clubs are better than one
  • A grip to help eliminate flipping your wrists
  • A step-by-step routine for consistent strikes
  • The importance of visualization
  • Why two favorite clubs are better than one
  • A grip to help eliminate flipping your wrists
Lesson 4: Putting
4/4
Lesson 4: Putting
  • Getting comfortable over your putts
  • Rethinking how you move the putter
  • Use bigger muscles for better feel
  • How to develop a repeatable stroke
  • Getting comfortable over your putts
  • Rethinking how you move the putter
  • Use bigger muscles for better feel
  • How to develop a repeatable stroke